Palm Beach SC Women again put their noses ahead in first by dismantling Western Pride Women 9-1 at Mallawa Complex on Sunday.
Pride looked like posing problems when they pulled level in the first-half but were quickly undone by April Albury’s sending off.
Sharks got off to a perfect start thanks to Deeanna Thompson, whose shot within a minute of kick-off squirmed through the hands of Pride goalkeeper Amelia Quabba to make it 1-0.
Pride responded to the early setback by equalising in the ninth minute through Kara Mowbray, but found themselves behind again midway through the half as Sachiko Tatsuoka’s low shot evaded everyone on its way into the net.
Lauren Brown next headed Sharks into a 3-1 lead and the blows were compounded for Pride by a second yellow for Albury, her foul in the penalty area allowing Laura Sevil to make it 4-1 from the spot heading into half-time.
The hosts continued to attack after the restart and Harriet Withers assisted Brown in making it 5-1 before Tatsuoka finished low for a sixth with over half an hour to play.
Sharks’ numerical advantage continued to count as the match ticked toward the final 20 minutes with Harriet Withers smashing home Eden Jones’ cross.
It was 8-1 when Brown intercepted a clearance and finished in the 69th minute and though Quabba was able to make a fine one-handed save to deny Bronte Rose, she couldn’t keep Thompson from bookending the contest by making it 9-1 in the final minutes.
Speaking after the match, Sharks striker Lauren Brown remained pragmatic about the Gold Coast side’s chances of staying top at the end of the season.
“Everyone has been saying this week (that) to be at the top it’s going to come down to the last game. We’re taking it game by game,” Brown said.
Pride player-coach Lorena Maggio was disappointed with the muddying of her team’s early effort to equalise.
“As soon as we got that goal we were in the game but unfortunately playing with 10 for 70 minutes didn’t help us at all,” Maggio said.
Palm Beach SC Women 9 (Deeanna THOMPSON 1’, 86’ Sachiko TATSUOKA 22’, 58’ Lauren BROWN 35’, 56’, 69’ Laura SEVIL p.36’ Harriet WITHERS 67’)
Western Pride FC Women 1 (Kara MOWBRAY 9’)